Chantal, or Chanty, was introduced to the world of K-pop by her actress friends, Belle Mariano and Charlie Dizon. Now, with the debut of LAPILLUS, she’s a certified idol herself.
The Korean craze can no longer be downplayed and denied in our country. Anywhere you go, there are KBBQ restaurants ready to satisfy your bulgogi cravings. Check your online shopping apps and an array of Korean products is waiting to give you supple, glowing skin. Ask your friends for show recommendations and one will definitely mention a K-Drama that they lost sleep over.
And it looks like we’re never getting over our love for Korea just yet because one of us finally debuted as a K-pop idol today.
Chantal Videla, also known as CHANTY, is debuting in MLD Entertainment‘s newest girl group, LAPILLUS (Latin for precious stone or jewel). Their debut single and music video, “HIT YA!”, was released today, June 20.
LAPILLUS is a six-member girl group composed of the following girls: Shanna, Chanty, Yue, Bessie, Seowon, and Haeun. Their edge? A global-centric bunch with members coming from Japan, the Philippines, Korea, and United States of America (U.S.A.). The members can also speak several languages, such as Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, English, and, of course, Tagalog. Aiming to portray the innocent, girl-crush charm, LAPILLUS will conquer the global stage in no time!
Thanks to Belle and Charlie
In an exclusive press conference for the Philippine media, Chanty shares that her K-Pop journey started just like how we all did—with fangirling or “stanning” groups like BTS and BLACKPINK: “My Star Magic family and friends introduced me to K-Pop. Ate Charlie Dizon [with her journey to almost being an idol before] and Belle Mariano were first exposed to it, and they influenced me, too.”
Answering how ended up auditioning for a Korean entertainment company, Chanty explains, “My father had a Korean friend who, through his connections in the entertainment industry, heard that a company was holding global auditions for a girl group.”
Prior to her K-Pop debut, the 19-year-old actress and performer was a Star Magic artist and starred in shows like the drama series Starla (2019), with Judy Ann Santos and Joel Torre.
But Chanty says she still brings a lot of her Filipino traits to her new role as an idol. In fact, these traits have been advantageous to her work: “Being able to have this positive mind, and keep working harder, and being able to adjust to every situation, and also to every culture and stuff. We tend to adjust a lot, and we’re really good at it. And [we are] simply able to show our Filipino charm and culture. I’m really, really glad that I was able to bring that and use it for my training here.”
Their sense of style and idols
During the press conference, MEGA Entertainment asked the group to describe their style inspirations. Chanty immediately answers Heart Evangelista. “Recently, I’ve been looking up to Ms. Heart Evangelista a lot, with her fashion and everything because she’s been so active in social media with her fashion,” she says, smiling. “And being a K-pop star and having to…people look up to K-pop fashion, too. And I kind of want to explore more, and say, ‘Oh, I wonder if I could bring in some other mix of other fashion styles and stuff like that.'”
In the K-pop world, Shana, the group’s leader, who is from Japan, says her style icon is Lisa of Blackpink because she herself likes wearing comfortable clothes that “still looks good.” Yue, who is from the U.S.A., and Chanty both like Jennie of Blackpink’s style, with Yue describing her own fashion style as chic, elegant and simple.
Bessie, who is from Korea, describes her sense of style as more “hip and street,” so it isn’t surprising that her fashion icon is CL of the K-pop group 2NE1. Saewon, who is also from Korea, says her outfits are more “girly, with a lovely vibe,” and she looks up to Rosé of Blackpink for style inspiration. Lastly, Haeun, also from Korea, says she looks up to G-Dragon for inspiration, not just in fashion but in music.
And speaking of music, Chanty says when it comes to performing, Gary Valenciano and Regine Velasquez are her idols.
Getting through their cultural differences
The group is one in saying that their different cultural backgrounds became a source of initial awkwardness among them, but eventually, they started getting to know one another and became closer. “I only had a faint understanding of the [Korean] language through the K-Dramas I’ve watched,” Chanty says with a laugh. “I only recognized certain words like jjinja [really], ne [yes], and aniyo [no] because of the dramas.” The foreign members also reveal that they’re still continuously studying the Korean language.
Apart from language barriers, other factors contributed to the challenges that they had to face on their way to becoming idols. Yue points out that homesickness made the already rigorous training process more difficult for them.
For Chanty, she adds that she is still learning how to adjust to the ways Koreans practice courtesy and politeness, like bowing and not putting her hands in her pockets when talking to elders. But with their newfound friendship, they’ve learned to lean on one another for support.
Chanty, the dreamer
Their months and years of training will finally come into fruition as supporters all over the country and the world will watch and hear “HIT YA!”
In the press conference, the girls were asked about their future goals. Revealing herself to be a big dreamer, Chanty says she dreams of collaborating with Shakira: “She has this positive aura and message that I think matches what we also want to share as a group.”
Chanty also dreams of bringing K-pop fans all over the world together to listen and appreciate what LAPILLUS has to offer. She adds, “As one of the members who can speak a number of languages, I hope that I’ll be able to bridge the fans together and communicate with all of you!”
The future is bright for Chanty and all the members of LAPILLUS. Watch for their debut music video, “HIT YA!”